The Tezos Art Community Takes Over South Beach During Art Basel

The Tezos art community will take Miami by storm during Art Basel week with exhibition, panels, and performances as well as an augmented reality NFT scavenger hunt along South Beach.


900 words, 5 minute read

The Tezos Art Community Takes Over South Beach During Art Basel image 1

The Tezos blockchain ecosystem has been a fixture of the Art Basel Miami scene since December 2021, when Mario Klingemann’s installation ‘Humans + Machines: NFTs and the Ever-Evolving World of Art’ took pride of place at the fair.

This year, the Art Vertical team at Trilitech - a London adoption hub of the Tezos ecosystem - is working with Refraction - the artist-owned web3 curatorial/culture leaders - to organise a celebration and showcase of the full range of successes across the art community, alongside additional curatorial partners, as well as a takeover of South Beach, marking a first for the ecosystem.

Starting on December 6 with an exhibition, panels and performances at the Nautilus Hotel, curatorial platforms, partners and marketplaces from around the world will co-curate contemporary digital art minted on Tezos. Over 50 works will be shown, ranging from historical pieces to contemporary editions sold during the event, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Trevor Project, an American non-profit organisation raising funds for suicide prevention amongst LGBTQ+ youth.

Partners including Serpentine, TheVerseVerse, fx(hash), Objkt, Akaswap will contribute to the exhibitions. Panels organized by the Serpentine and Tezos Artist Victoria West, and performances from Danny Daze, the verseVERSE, Arthur Baker and others, will take place on the day into the evening.

The Tezos Art Community Takes Over South Beach During Art Basel, image 2

Casey Reas, CSRSNT-XAAI-21-of-32

The event curation includes award-winning artists that span digital art, from historically important to contemporary relevance, and whose work has been collected by the likes of The Whitney Museum of American Art and the Centre Pompidou. Artists include Anna Lucia, Casey Reas, Fingacode, John Karel, Laurence Fuller / Vincent D’Onofrio, Lorna Mills, Nicolas Sassoon, OONA., operator, P1xelfool, Sasha Stiles, RalenArc, Zach Lieberman, and zancan, as well as collective showcases such as the ‘MoMA Postcard Project’ and ‘We are Museums’.

One of the main components of the exhibition will be in tying the history of the Tezos ecosystem and their related works to the contemporary art world.

Valérie Whitacre, Head of Arts Partnerships, Trilitech, an adoption hub of the Tezos blockchain:

“Since its Art Basel debut in Miami in 2021, the Tezos art community has expanded to include more leading platforms, museums and innovative creators. That its pioneering exchanges, collaborations and exhibitions have evolved to bring Crypto Art to Contemporary Art audiences at such a high level is a testament to the quality and ambition of the community.”

Malcolm Levy, Co-Founder of Refraction, co-curator and producer of Tezos @ South Beach:

“Our goal in the exhibition is to not only show some of the most seminal works on the Tezos ecosystem, but also show the evolution of art on the blockchain and its proliferation across the globe. We’re mirroring the transformative nature of the blockchain by having a curatorial framework that is distributed, decentralised and disruptive. It was essential to do this in a distributed manner, curating with groups worldwide that represent the ecosystem as a whole.”

Another key to this exhibition is presenting blockchain art beyond the screen, as objects. This includes everything from rugs to prints to sculptures, showing the breadth and depth of work and the artists creating it beyond the screen. One goal is to show these works in conversation with the greater context of Art Basel Miami Beach and the Satellite Fairs.

Portions of the exhibition will remain on view in the Nautilus Hotel through Miami Art Week until 08 December 2023.

The event will also mark the launch of the Tezos Art Walk, an Augmented Reality Scavenger hunt across the South Beach area. Powered by Eyejack - an AR visual arts engagement platform built on Tezos - where the public can discover and collect seven AR artworks in key areas of South Beach from the 6th-10th December.

The first of it’s kind on Tezos, the city-wide takeover reflects a broader movement of arts institutions intervening in their local landscapes, such as the recent AR sculpture by Nancy Baker Cahill commissioned by The Whitney Museum of American Art, or earlier projects such as the collaboration between KAWS and the Serpentine in London in 2022.

The Tezos Art Community Takes Over South Beach During Art Basel, image 3

Zach Lieberman & Iskra Velitchkova, Horizon(te)s

Tezos Art Walk participants who mint all seven AR pieces will be eligible for lucky draws of tez, the crypto currency native to the Tezos blockchain. Participants do not need existing crypto wallets, but can sign up with just their Twitter handle. The hunt will be announced on the 6th December in Miami as well as on Twitter via the accounts of participating artists including 1mpo$ter, Alex Seton, Cibelle Cavalli Bastos, Jesse Somfay, Sky Goodman, Sutu, and Tabitha Swanson.

The event and South Beach AR takeover mark the first such global collaboration across the ecosystem organised with support from the Tezos Foundation. The experience not only celebrates the success of the Tezos art ecosystem to date, it also highlights the valuable contributions the ecosystem is making towards the future of Crypto Art and the history of art in general.